Marlow begins to tell us the story of Jim, a young upstart sailor with tons of promise. But that promise soon fades when Jim commits the scandalous act of abandoning ship aboard the Patna and goes to trial for his wrongdoings.
After Jim's trial, he has a series of odd jobs until he finally settles down on the island of Patusan, where he becomes an influential member of the community. Marlow pays him a visit and catches up with his old pal.
After Marlow leaves Patusan, Jim's life sails along with ease until Gentleman Brown arrives on the island, and a battle for Patusan erupts. Misunderstandings and evil schemes contribute to Jim's friend Dain Waris's death, for which Jim takes responsibility. He willingly goes to his death at the hands of Dain's dad Doramin.